Our Program

St. Mary’s interdisciplinary team provides both comprehensive evaluations and an intensive day program to diagnose and treat feeding disorders in children.

Evaluation Clinic
During the clinic visit, which may last several hours, each family will meet with our interdisciplinary team. The evaluation involves review of the child’s medical, developmental, and treatment history, comprehensive assessment of nutritional status and daily intake, and a feeding observation. From this comprehensive assessment, each discipline will provide recommendations that may include strategies to be incorporated into the child’s existing care in the community, further medical/diagnostic assessment, and/or consideration for admission to our day treatment program. Additional follow-up clinic appointments may be scheduled as needed.

Day Treatment
Our day treatment program is designed to treat children who are medically stable, have failed to make significant gains in outpatient treatment, and who require the involvement of multiple disciplines in an intensive model of care. A course of treatment spans up to 8 weeks and is attended by both the child and a caregiver. The program runs Monday through Friday and includes multiple daily treatment sessions between the hours of 8AM and 3PM, suited to each child’s treatment needs.

Outpatient Feeding/Swallowing Therapy
St. Mary’s Hospital for Children’s Cindy and Tod Johnson Center for Pediatric Feeding Disorders offers an outpatient feeding/swallowing therapy providing assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding problems. Comprehensive evaluation and intervention is available to address oral motor deficits, swallowing impairments and/or behavioral feeding issues. Services are provided by pediatric speech language pathologists with extensive dysphagia and behavioral expertise. In outpatient therapy, a child receives weekly treatment at our facility. Caregivers work with clinicians to develop treatment goals for their child and are expected to participate in training in the established feeding protocol to assure carryover of treatment gains to other environments.

VitalStim Therapy
The Center for Pediatric Feeding Disorders employs a variety of techniques and protocols to help children achieve successful outcomes. For children with dysphagia, difficulty feeding and swallowing, the Center offers VitalStim Therapy to aid muscle strengthening and swallowing function.  Learn more about VitalStim Therapy»

What can VitalStim therapy do for your child?

  • Help with secretion management
  • Improvement in ability to swallow
  • Diet advancements
  • Helps to sustain long term improvements